'Internet van' turns 30 Video
'Internet van' turns 30 Video Transcript
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>> Hey there, I'm Kara Suboy [assumed spelling] with CNETnews.com, just checking my email here. Yeah, wireless mobile technology, it's pretty brilliant. A lot of us take it for granted. But did you know that its origins began in this van?
>> Don't be fooled, this is no ordinary bread truck. In the 1970s a group of engineers from SRI International tricked it out to function as a mobile radio unit.
>> These happen to be the only two packet radios left in the world, but these are the digital radios that now would fit inside of a cigarette lighter probably, or a postage, I mean a -
>> Here it's the size of a big mailbox.
>> Uh huh.
>> Thirty years ago this November, the SRI van generated the first wireless mobile internet connection.
>> It allowed us to go from this van to the University of Southern California, three hundred and fifty miles away, by way of London, England. [ laughter ]
>> It worked by connecting the radios with satellites and hard-wired Arpanet lines.
>> The question was could we make these all work together in a transparent way so that you as a user here, and you as a host computer here wouldn't know these even existed.
>> How long did the connection take though, to go from this van in northern California all the way around the world back down to southern California?
>> We were exploring territory that no one had ever been in before, which is what made it so exciting and interesting.
>> Vin Serf [assumed spelling], then with the Department of Defense, was working with the teams at SRI to develop this mobile technology for the military.
>> You have to do it with radios cause you can't run over wires.
>> While the connection was a success, it would be decades until it would be in the hands of the people, literally.
>> I would like them to understand that the technology that they're using today had some of its early origins over thirty years ago, and that some people who think this just happened, you know, five years ago or even ten years ago, or it just sort of naturally happened and somehow didn't take any effort. The actual fact is this was hard work, to make these things function the way they do.
>> The Wi-Fi world we know today is not directly traceable, but, but it's close. So if that's a legacy I'll take it.
>> Kara Suboy, CNETnews.com.
Considered one of the most startling achievements of the 19th century, Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2 has come to life 150 years later. CNET News.com's Kara Tsuboi visits the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., to see the machine in action and meet the men who turned Babbage's dream into a reality.
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The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., shows off its functioning Babbage Difference Engine.
At Intel's Research Day, more than 70 booths filled up the exhibition hall at Mountain View's Computer History Museum. CNET News.com's Kara Tsuboi profiles some of her favorites, including the Mood Phone and robotic fingers.
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While touring the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recounts his connection and contributions to the development of personal computing, including his early days working with Steve Jobs.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak discusses the origins of the hard disk while touring the Computer History Museum Mountain View, Calif.
At the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak discusses how humans are dependent on technology.
While touring the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak reflects on his first transistor radio.